By Loreth Beswetherick
Three years after a municipal proposal call for a camping facility the new Riverside Campground off Mons Road will be open for business from Friday, Dec. 17.
A total of 55 fully-serviced RV pads will be available this winter, until work can start on the next phase of the facility in the spring. Shower and washroom facilities are currently provided in a trailer. The RV pads include cable and Hydro hook-up.
Campco Investments has appointed Eric Wight as manager and Allie Maw as his assistant. Maw said the campground is currently taking reservations and is almost 75 per cent booked for New Year’s Eve. She has also received one booking for Christmas Eve. "We are getting more bookings every day. We have had a lot of interest from Washington State," said Maw who did a brochure blitz on Washington-registered RV’s during the American Thanksgiving weekend.
She said there has also been keen interest from van dwellers in Lot 4.
Riverside Campground will be offering RV lots for monthly rentals at a rate of $500 per month. The nightly rate at Riverside is $35 per vehicle including two adults. An extra $5 is charged for additional adults. Children under 16 stay free.
Maw acknowledge the number of people currently living in Lot 4 could probably fill this first phase of the new campground but the number of monthly rentals will be limited. "We do want to be a campground and not a trailer park," she said. But the limit will depend on how bookings shape up over the next few months. She said it will likely be set at 20 out of the 55 for monthly rental.
Maw said the Whistler bylaws department has indicated once the campground is open, there will be no more over-night stays permitted in the village parking lots. "As soon as we are open, that’s it, they get kicked out or they get fined if they stay. They need to leave."
Bylaws chief Sandra Smith said, however, municipal department heads will be issuing a statement in the near future outlining RMOW policy for future camping in the lots. She said there are a number of issues to take into consideration.
The campground’s summer 1999 construction schedule was to include 14 small log cabins and a main lodge building, with one floor dedicated to administration, a convenience store, delicatessen, indoor recreation area, laundry facilities and the washroom and shower facilities. Maw said however, everything including the administration is currently trailer-based.
Next spring work will start on the tent sites. The plan is to have these up and running by the summer. The entire project is to be constructed in three phases and will ultimately include employee housing — 12 studio units and eight one-bedroom units — an 18-hole putting course plus a swimming pool. The entire project has a maximum six-year buildout period.